“My name is Anna and I was diagnosed 1.5 weeks ago with Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS). I am 28 years old.
My whole life I’ve been an optimistic person. And by optimistic, I mean, “No dwelling, everything serves a higher purpose” attitude. I genuinely can’t remember a time not being this way (my husband can vouch 😀).
However, the last week and a half has changed my track record. It has been extremely challenging mentally. Just a constant tug of war throughout the day: “How? Why? Focus! Breathe, be grateful you caught it early.
Wait, but how? Why? Stop! Breathe, be grateful. But, how? Why? Ugh. Naptime.” This has created loads of anxiety to start with, and I found that the internet exacerbated my anxiety dramatically. I am always going down rabbit holes on Google and Google Scholar (nerdy fun). But, a rabbit hole on cancer = NO bueno. And it’s easy to fall down that hole. I don’t really know what I was looking for when I first searched “DCIS”.
Maybe I should’ve used better keywords to narrow down topics…but, what did I even want to read? I didn’t know until I was referred to this LearnLookLocate page, that I realized I wanted to read other’s stories. It felt emotionally satisfying, which for me during the first week, was more impactful than pure information. The stories feel more real here….less article-y (for lack of a better word).
Plus, I felt so encouraged after speaking to Cynthia and family and friends. I felt more emotionally grounded and in control when researching the internet for specific topics. The emotional aspects of this experience CANNOT be ignored.
The internet itself hasn’t provided me emotional relief, but talking to others has.
This goes for caretakers also. My husband has been holding my hand tightly and that feels more comforting than any piece of information right now.